Cheese stars in this spicy, beer-blasted dip, and grating your own makes all the difference. Pre-shredded cheeses have a coating on the strands that prevent the complete and luscious melting achieved with freshly grated cheese. This dish is best served hot and fresh (not reheated), so wait until your guests have all arrived before popping it under the broiler.
- Canola oil
- Zest of 1 lime
- 3/4 teaspoon plus 1 pinch kosher salt
- Twelve 6-inch corn tortillas, each cut into 6 wedges
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded, if desired, and finely chopped
- 1 plum tomato, seeded and finely chopped
- 1/2 cup Mexican lager-style beer (such as Corona)
- 12 ounces muenster or Monterey Jack, grated (about 3 1/2 cups)
- 4 ounces sharp white Cheddar, grated (about 1 1/2 cups)
Pour oil to a depth of 2 inches into a medium saucepan. Heat over medium-high heat until a deep-frying thermometer inserted in the oil reaches 350 degrees F. In a small bowl, mix the lime zest and 3/4 teaspoon salt together. Working in batches, fry the tortilla wedges until golden and crisp, about 1 minute, and transfer them to a paper towel-lined baking sheet with a slotted spoon. Sprinkle the chips with the lime salt while they are still hot. Set aside.
Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in a 10-inch cast-iron or ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions, jalapeno and a pinch of salt and cook until the onions just start to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato and cook until softened, about 1 minute. Add the beer and cook until all the liquid has evaporated, about 7 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat. Toss the muenster and Cheddar together and add them to the skillet. Stir once or twice to combine.
When ready to serve, preheat the broiler. Place the skillet under the broiler until the cheese is bubbling and lightly browned on top, 2 to 3 minutes. Serve hot with the chips.
Cook's Note: Although this cheesy dip should be eaten fresh from the oven, you can have everything ready to go before your guests arrive. You can fry, season and cool the chips and store them for 2 to 3 hours in an airtight container. Cook the vegetables and reduce the beer, then remove the skillet from the heat. Grate your cheeses and combine them. When you're ready to serve, stir the cheese into the vegetables, broil and enjoy.
- Copyright 2012 Television Food Network, G.P. All rights reserved.